AVANT-GARDE CREME BRULEE
1. Refrigerate oil until very cold, or, to save time, place it in the freezer for 1 hour.
2. Chop chocolate, preheat oven to 300 °F (150 °C) and arrange ramekins on a baking sheet.
3. In a medium-sized pot, bring half and half to a boil, then remove from heat and put a tea bag in. Cover and let steep for 4 minutes.
4. Using a sieve, filter cream tea (discard the bag). In a medium-sized bowl and using a whisk, gently combine yolks, cane sugar and heavy cream. Then, while whisking, incorporate about a quarter of the tea. Wait 1 minute, then incorporate the remaining tea.
5. Pour preparation into ramekins and cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Once cooked, transfer ramekins to a cooling rack and let cool down at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (Make vanilla pearls while the creme brulees are cooking or cooling.)
6. Sprinkle each creme brulee with brown sugar, then caramelize using a torch. Serve as soon as possible after caramelizing.
7. In a small pot, heat cream and sugar without boiling and infuse vanilla for a minute. Remove from heat and infuse for 15 more minutes.
8. Put the pot back on the heat. Incorporate agar-agar while stirring and bring to a boil, then remove from heat immediately.
9. Remove oil from the freezer or refrigerator. Using a pipette held at a 90° angle, slowly drip droplets of the agar-agar preparation in the cold oil. Stir gently, then, using a slotted spoon, delicately collect pearls and briefly rinse them in water. Remove excess water from each spoonful by applying a piece of paper towel on the bottom of the spoon. reserve.
10. Decorate each creme brulee as pictured and serve.